SPACES: ANTENNA, THE FRONT, GOOD CHILDREN GALLERY, 2012
Spaces: Antenna, The Front, Good Children Gallery, presented at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans February 25 - June 10, 2012 and curated by Director of Visual Arts, Amy Mackie, with Visual Arts Coordinator, Angela Berry is the first exhibition to bring together these collectively organized, cooperatively run artist spaces located on or near St. Claude Avenue in New Orleans. Since 2008, Antenna, The Front, and Good Children Gallery have embodied a thriving intellectual and artistic spirit in the city, evidenced through their programs that support both emerging and established artists. What sets Antenna, The Front, and Good Children Gallery apart from other initiatives located in New Orleans is their organizational structures, through which artist members curate exhibitions of other artists’ work or present their own. Spaces is an exhibition that focuses on the individual, the collective and, most importantly, the way in which the members of these collectives interface through the exhibitions and events they organize.
Spaces is inspired in part by an exhibition of the same name curated by Jennifer Licht at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York in 1969, which included installation-based projects in specified “spaces” throughout the museum and sculpture garden. This was an unprecedented exhibition for MoMA at that time, and though much has changed since then, it is still clear that arts institutions must continue to define and redefine their role in supporting and servicing the needs of a creative community. Spaces, like its predecessor, allows artists’ work to respond to the architecture of the building and to create projects or organize events that evolve long after the exhibition has officially opened to the public. Other exhibitions that serve as important art historical references for Spaces include Locally Localized Gravity, presented at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA in 2007, which focused on artists as producers, and Collective Creativity at the Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany in 2005, which included artists who work collectively or collaboratively.
For Spaces, the second floor gallery of the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) is divided into several discrete sections: a traditional gallery space with a large group exhibition featuring work by each collective member; a designated wall where Antenna, The Front, and Good Children Gallery are presenting a project—or a series of projects—that elaborates each group’s particular aesthetic and politics; and an archive/resource center that includes a timeline, brochures, postcards, catalogues, and other materials from each individual artist and from each collective. Three site-specific projects by Rachel Brown & James Goedert, Bob Snead, and Jonathan Traviesa are located on the second floor of the building, just outside the gallery space. In addition, artists from the collectives are organizing numerous events, performances, screenings, and conversations that will occur in various locations in the CAC through June 10, 2012 (schedule to be posted on the CAC website).